Firm to buy posh Paris hotel to woo Chinese

Firm to buy posh Paris hotel to woo Chinese
A Hong Kong firm is set to buy the five star Marriott Hotel on the famous Champs Elysées. Photo: Sirsnapsalot/AFP
A Hong Kong investment group has announced it is buying a plush Champs Elysées hotel, which it plans to market to Chinese visitors. The deal comes at a time when the number of Chinese tourists visiting France is at an all-time high.

A Hong Kong steel investment firm said it has agreed to pay €344 million for the five-star Paris Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysées, as it targets Chinese tourists' desire for luxury travel.

Kai Yuan Holdings will pay $467.27 million for the seven-floor, 100-year-old hotel it said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange late Monday. Shares in the firm surged 64 percent to HK$0.159 after the announcement.

"As the capital of the most visited country in the world, Paris has been benefiting from its importance as a global hub for business, culture and tourism," it said.

France is the number one tourist destination in the world, with French government figures showing 83 million people visited last year. It is also the prime destination for Chinese tourists, with a record 1.4 million visitors from the country last year.

Kai Yuan said it would market the hotel to Chinese tourists, adding in the filing that it "takes an optimistic view in the prospect of the global tourism industry".

While the firm is principally engaged in the manufacturing and trading of steel in China, it also has interests in real estate and in December paid $63 million for a hotel in Hong Kong, another popular city destination for rich mainland tourists

It said the deadline for the completion of the sale will be September 5th.

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